FirstNet + Fire

WHAT IS THE FIRST RESPONDER NETWORK AUTHORITY (FIRSTNET)?

FirstNet is an independent authority within the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration. FirstNet is governed by a 15-member Board consisting of the Attorney General of the United States, the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, and 12 members appointed by the Secretary of Commerce. The FirstNet Board is composed of representatives from public safety; local, state and federal government; and the wireless industry.

Signed into law on February 22, 2012, the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act created FirstNet. The law gives FirstNet the duty to build, operate and maintain the first high-speed, nationwide wireless broadband network dedicated to public safety entities. FirstNet will provide a single interoperable platform for public safety communications.

WHAT WILL BE POSSIBLE WITH THE FIRSTNET NETWORK?

The FirstNet network will save time during the golden hour. Imagine a day when one interoperable communications network can be used to dispatch Fire personnel, a medical helicopter, police officers, and fire personnel from different jurisdictions all at the same time. Fire professionals using the FirstNet network will be able to share applications, access to databases, and provide better patient care through improved communications.

FirstNet’s goal is to provide public safety‐grade reliability and extensive coverage so fire personnel can count on the network when they are on the job. FirstNet is also aiming to provide coverage solutions that let fire personnel “take the network along” to the destination in certain geographies. Fire chiefs and local officials will have local control over the network so, for example, they can assign users and talk groups and determine who can access applications.

When the FirstNet network launches, it will provide mission‐critical, high‐speed data services to supplement the voice capabilities of today’s Land Mobile Radio (LMR) networks. Initially, the FirstNet network will be used for sending data, video, images and text. The FirstNet network will also carry location information and eventually support streaming video. FirstNet plans to offer cellular voice communications such as Voice over Long Term Evolution (VoLTE) or other alternatives.

WHY WAS FIRSTNET CREATED?

The public safety community fought hard to fulfill the 9/11 Commission’s last standing recommendation and lobbied Congress to pass legislation establishing a dedicated, reliable network for advanced data communications nationwide. During emergencies, fire personnel need priority access and preemption, which are not available on commercial networks.

HOW WILL THE FIRSTNET NETWORK BENEFIT FIRE PERSONNEL?

Using the FirstNet network will improve situational awareness and decision-making. The FirstNet network will make it possible to use new tools that support faster parallel processing. The FirstNet network will enable the exchange of real‐time data and audio/video feeds between fire personnel and hospital staff. This kind of connection, while units are on the scene and during transport, will improve all levels of pre‐hospital care.

WHAT WILL USERS PAY FOR FIRSTNET’S SERVICES?

FirstNet intends to offer services at a compelling and competitive cost to attract millions of public safety users and make FirstNet self‐sustaining. The use of FirstNet’s services and applications will be voluntary. The costs for FirstNet’s services and devices have not yet been set.

HOW CAN MY LOCAL AGENCY PARTICIPATE IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE FIRSTNET NETWORK?

FirstNet works with and through designated State Single Points of Contact (SPOC) to consult with states, local communities, tribal governments and first responders to gather information, report on progress and identify requirements needed for developing the NPSBN construction and deployment plans.

Louisiana SPOC

Colonel Michael Edmonson,
Superintendent – Louisiana State Police and Deputy Secretary – Department of Public Safety & Corrections, Public Safety Services.

7667 Independence Blvd.
Baton Rouge, LA 70806
(225) 925-7500
pocla@la.gov


Stay Connected

To stay up-to-date on Louisiana FirstNet outreach, planning and information gathering activities, fire personnel can track progress at the Louisiana FirstNet Website.

To stay up-to-date on national FirstNet activities, fire personnel can track progress at www.firstnet.gov.

FirstNet Public Safety Advisory Committee Participation

Fire personnel may also want to contact members of the FirstNet Public Safety Advisory Committee (PSAC) and particiapte in outreach discussions at professional association meetings and conferences. The mission of the PSAC is to assist FirstNet in carrying out its duties and responsibilities.

Specifically, the PSAC:

  • Offers FirstNet guidance, information and subject matter expertise from a public safety perspective to ensure that user needs, requirements and public safety operational capabilities are included in the network.
  • Provides subject matter expertise on concepts (e.g., policies, procedures, technologies, operational modes developed by FirstNet.)
  • Advises FirstNet through creation of initial documents, plans or reports related to the build-out, deployment and operation of a national public safety broadband network (NPSBN). The PSAC reports include subject matter related to shared intergovernmental responsibilities or administration.
  • Conducts regular meetings to remain informed and up-to-date on FirstNet's progress.


More information regarding the PSAC and its membership is available at http://firstnet.gov/about/public-safety-advisory-committee.

Fire personnel can provide input to FirstNet via the outreach efforts coordinated by the SPOC in each state.

 

FirstNet and Firefighters



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 Doing Business with Louisiana FirstNet